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Lúnasa Festival 2021 – Linen and Lace Exhibition

Lúnasa Festival 2021 – Linen and Lace Exhibition
The South Armagh Lace Collective and the Clanrye Lace Group invite you to join them for a unique collaboration our rich heritage of textile making in South Armagh and Newry.

Come along to the Ring of Gullion Lúnasa Festival 2021 and immerse yourself in the rich landscape, culture and heritage of this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). This festival is part of the Mourne-Gullion-Strangford Aspiring UNESCO Global Geopark of events and is funded by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council. To find a full list of events visit

This event will feature an exhibition of new work and a range of demonstrations and talks between 5-7th August, 2021. The exhibition will take place in the picturesque Derrymore House, which stands on the outskirts of the historic village of Bessbrook. This historic property makes a perfect meeting place for these two very distinctive laces as both have firm roots in Co Armagh and Bessbrook has a proud association with the local linen industry.
The South Armagh Lace Collective are delighted to announce their latest collaboration with the Clanrye Lace Group for a very exciting series of events for the Lunasa Festival. These events will take place from 5th August – 7th August and will begin with a three day joint exhibition in the picturesque and historic Derrymore House in Bessbrook, a National Trust property which stands on the outskirts of the equally historic village of Bessbrook which has an illustrious association with the local linen industry.
This is the perfect meeting place to celebrate the rich heritage of textile-making in South Armagh and Newry namely Linen and Lace. This exhibition will feature new work from both groups as well as short talks and demonstrations over the course of the three days.
5th August – 7pm Exhibition Launch
6th August – 11am -4pm
7th August – 11am – 4pm
The South Armagh Lace Collective formed as a group in 2018 and is dedicated to promoting the rich history and tradition of Carrickmacross Lace-making in the wider Culloville/Crossmaglen area which dates to the 1830s. This lace is revered internationally for its beauty and artistry and is often referred to as the King of the Irish Laces. Both Culloville and Crossmaglen were known as a Centres of excellence for lace-making and Culloville itself is considered to be the early seat of Carrickmacross Lace as well as the home of the first purpose built lace school in Ireland.
Clanrye Lace was developed in the 1920s in Newry as part of the work of the lace school in the Mercy Convent. There had been an industrial school there since the late 1880s but they decided to diversify in the twentieth century as fashions and attitudes were changing. This lace is unlike most other Irish laces in that it is made from linen, which has made it quite robust. All of the pieces made in those years are still to be found in the Newry area. A group took up the challenge of restoring an interest in it in 2012 and they have been working since then to research its techniques, its history and to experiment with the possibilities it offers to lace-makers and textile artists today.
Affiliated event: Visitors to the exhibition will be able to book on the walking tour of the village by Local guide and Heritage Ambassador Anne Fearon offering visitors the opportunity to learn more about the fascinating history of Bessbrook the first ‘Model Village’ in Britain through her walking tour called Dander in Bessbrook.

Rapid COVID-19 tests – known as Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests

The use of LFD testing is important as an additional measure alongside the range of existing safety measures in place. It is important to remember that, even with a negative LFD test, continue to follow all other public health and safety measures in place.

It is strongly recommended that anyone participating in, or attending, any event should test themselves before they attend, and on days 2 and 8 after the event. The purpose of this testing is to identify any positive cases in advance of the event, and allow them to self-isolate. Post event testing will also help to identify any asymptomatic COVID-19 infections arising from the event, or social interactions that may occur before or after an organised event.

Rapid COVID-19 tests can be obtained by anyone who requires them, free of charge. Rapid test packs can be ordered online for free delivery to your home.

You can also order them for collection in a number of locations across NI:

Find where to get rapid lateral flow tests – NHS (

If anyone has symptoms of COVID-19, they should self-isolate and book a PCR test immediately. Please do not attend events unless you receive a negative PCR test.  PCR tests are available at testing sites across Northern Ireland and can be booked at:  

Event Details

Lúnasa Festival 2021 – Linen and Lace Exhibition takes place on August 5, 2021 until August 7, 2021.
It starts at 11:00am and ends at 4:00pm.

Event Location

Derrymore House, Bessbrook.
Lottery Funded
NIEA DoE N&M DC Biodiversity

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